Cuba woos AU against U.S. embargo

The Cuban Ambassador to Ghana, Pedro Luis Despaigne Gonzalez has called on the African Union (AU) to support the island’s push for the United States of America (USA) to lift its 56-year-old economic and commercial sanctions.

Heads of State and Governments of the AU will, on 31 October 2018, vote on a draft resolution on the urgent need to end the economic sanctions on Cuba.

According to Mr Gonzalez, the blockade has been an obstacle to Cuba’s economic development and bilateral relations due to restrictions on transactions.

In an interview with Class News’ Jerry Akornor on the sidelines of a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, 17 October 2018, Mr Gonzalez said the time to lift the age-old economic blockade is long overdue.

He said the AU leaders have, “by themselves, realised they should support Cuba because supporting Cuba means they are supporting free trade and they are supporting independence”.

According to reports, the U.S. financial and trade embargo on Cuba has cost the country’s economy $130 billion.

The UN has adopted a non-binding resolution calling for an end to the embargo with overwhelming support every year since 1992.

After agreeing to a historic U.S.-Cuban detente in 2014, former U.S. President Barack Obama eased the embargo, which was fully put into place in 1962. But U.S. President Donald Trump last year tightened travel and trade restrictions again. Only the U.S. Congress can lift it in full.


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